November 1, 2006

Viking Lore

Sensational Viking Find trumpets the headline.
The grave of a wealthy Viking farmer, buried with his horse, sword, spear and shield, has been found in Orkdal.

Okay. Stop. Viking farmer? Doesn't this go against everything we've ever learned about raping, pillaging Vikings?
And if he was a farmer why isn't he buried with a plow and reaper? Nope this guy was determined to take his sword, spear and sheild to Valhalla. Yeah, a real agricultural-type, I'm sure.

artist's depiction of viking farmers during harvest.


Tim said...

Actually, that's one of the common misconceptions about Vikings, especially the Norwegian ones. Vikings, were, first and foremost, farmers. Why? Because the land in Norway was so rocky and difficult to til, why do you think they attacked other countries and took small bits of land at a time? Think back on England, Scotland and Ireland . . . if you look close enough into history, you'll find that the Vikings integrated themselves with the local populations, settled down . . . and became farmers.

Now the Danish Vikings, they're a completely different story. They were the more violent and psychotic ones. ;)

God Is My Codependent said...

I went to the Viking exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in NY a few years back and it was great. A Viking boat (they were crazy to ride in those things), all sorts of bones and tools, just a lot of cool, old stuff. The tour guide went out of his way to explain that there were a lot of misconceptions about Vikings, pointing out that not only were they not all war-crazed, but that they didn't even wear horned helmets.

Except that after the tour they led us into the gift shop--where they were selling Viking dolls wearing horned helmets!

So either the tour guide was lying or the museum was exploiting myths to make a buck. I can't handle either possibility. I'll never go to a museum again.

punkinsmom said...

Damn, now my horned hat isn't even authentic.